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Students who choose this specialization consisting of 37 credits beyond the introductory course are provided with an introduction to issues, problems, and resources in the mental health field. This program consists of coursework more specific to the mental health field and is highlighted by a field practicum and seminar taken together during the senior year. The supervised field placement consists of a minimum of 150 hours of experience in a mental health setting. Upon completion, students will have satisfied the requirements for the B.A. degree in psychology and the specialization in mental health. The specialization will provide background for graduate study leading to careers in school, counseling, or clinical psychology. Interest in the specialization should be explored during the second semester of the sophomore year or the first semester of the junior year.

Students should select courses to satisfy the each of the requirements listed below:

All of the following:

  • PSY 259 - Statistics in Psychology
  • PSY 393 - Experimental Methods
  • PSY 220 - Introduction to the Mental Health Field
  • PSY 228 - Personality
  • PSY 471 - Seminar in Psychological Services
  • PSY 472 - Field Practicum in Psychological Services

One of the following:

  • PSY 465 - Seminar in Psychological Counseling and Therapy
  • PSY 474 - Seminar in Behavior Theory & Practice

One of the following:

  • PSY 210 - Infant and Child Development*
  • PSY 215 - Adolescent Development*
  • PSY 219 - Lifespan Development*
  • PSY 227 - Social Psychology

*PSY 210 and 219 may not both count toward the major. Likewise, PSY 215 and 219 may not both count toward the major.

One of the following:

  • PSY 320 - Abnormal Child Psychology
  • PSY 321 - Abnormal Psychology

One of the following:

  • PSY 331 - Tests and Measurements 
  • PSY 461 - Data Gathering Techniques: Assessment

One of the following:

  • PSY 302 - Motivation
  • PSY 303 - Perception
  • PSY 311 - Learning
  • PSY 313 - Cognition
  • PSY 383 - Brain and Behavior

Any other 400-level course (not including 472, 473, and 499).

During the senior year, students enroll in the field practicum simultaneously with a seminar:

  • PSY 471 Seminar in Psychological Services
  • PSY 472 Field Practicum in Psychological Services

Field Practicum
The field practicum requires a minimum of 150 hours of field experience in a setting such as a mental health facility, day hospital, public school, group home, community mental health services, juvenile penal institution, residential facilities for children and/or adolescents. A special feature of this program is that the Seminar in Psychological Services (PSY 471) is taken concurrently with the Field Practicum in Psychological Services (472). The topics discussed in the seminar address contemporary issues including professional ethics, confidentiality, competency, and dual relationships, among other relevant topics. This arrangement of courses is intended to support and enhance the experience of students at their practicum sites. Field Practicum Sites, a listing of potential practicum sites, is available with the course instructor. Students are not limited to these sites and are encouraged to pursue practicum experiences at facilities which would allow them to develop their own interests. Approval of the site by the Mental Health Committee is required.

Transfer students
To receive a degree in Psychology with a Specialization in Mental Health from Southern Connecticut State University, students must complete the required program courses and the field practicum at SCSU. Prior internships are not accepted as fulfilling the field practicum requirement. Students who transfer to SCSU with a prior field practicum course or internship can apply prior academic credits towards their elective requirements, and all other courses similar to the specialization special courses must be pre-approved.